Morality and Legality of Secession

A Theory of National Self-Determination

  • Pau Bossacoma Busquets

Part of the Federalism and Internal Conflicts book series (FEINCO)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxi
  2. Secession in Political Philosophy

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Pau Bossacoma Busquets
      Pages 3-8
    3. Pau Bossacoma Busquets
      Pages 9-69
    4. Pau Bossacoma Busquets
      Pages 71-121
    5. Pau Bossacoma Busquets
      Pages 123-143
  3. Secession in International Law

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 145-145
    2. Pau Bossacoma Busquets
      Pages 147-180
    3. Pau Bossacoma Busquets
      Pages 189-207
  4. Secession in Constitutional Law

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 209-209
    2. Pau Bossacoma Busquets
      Pages 211-253
    3. Pau Bossacoma Busquets
      Pages 255-261
    4. Pau Bossacoma Busquets
      Pages 263-276
    5. Pau Bossacoma Busquets
      Pages 277-316
    6. Pau Bossacoma Busquets
      Pages 317-333
    7. Pau Bossacoma Busquets
      Pages 335-345
    8. Pau Bossacoma Busquets
      Pages 347-365
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 367-386

About this book


This book explores secession from three normative disciplines: political philosophy, international law and constitutional law. The author first develops a moral theory of secession based on a hypothetical multinational contract. Under this contract theory, injustices do not determine the existence of a right to secede, but the requirements to exercise it. The book’s second part then argues that international law is more inclined to accept and advance a remedial right approach to secession. Therefore, justice as multinational fairness is to be fully institutionalized under the constitutional law of liberal democracies. The final part proposes constitutionalizing a qualified right to secede with the aim of fostering recognition and accommodation of national pluralism as well as cooperation and compromise between majority and minority nations.

Pau Bossacoma Busquets is Lecturer in Public Law at Pompeu Fabra University, Spain, and legal advisor of the Catalan Government. He is a member of the UPF Political Theory Research Group, the Evolution of Institutions Observatory and the Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law. He has authored several academic books, chapters and papers on constitutionalism, democracy, citizenship, nationalism, self-determination, sovereignty and territorial autonomy.


secession and political philosophy secession and international law secession and constitutional law moral theory of secession justice multinational fairness demos moral argument self-determination Catalonia Scotland Quebec liberal-democratic context multinational contract minority nations international legal right international recognition multinational integration multinational stability unilateral secession

Authors and affiliations

  • Pau Bossacoma Busquets
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of LawUniversity Pompeu FabraBarcelona, CataloniaSpain

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